Introduction to Children's Book Illustration (short course)

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Why study this course?

This short course will introduce you to different approaches and styles of children's book illustration. Through experimentation with a variety of media, you'll learn how to tackle the illustration development of ideas and characters in an industry that's one of the most rounded visual art traditions. The course will encompass a vast array of skills that are highly transferable across the creative industries.

More about this course

The current children’s book illustration market is highly vibrant and dynamic, and the art of visual storytelling is an ever-evolving tradition that is constantly being added to and redefined. During this short course at London Met, you'll explore the relationship between illustration and text, delve into research strategies and begin to develop a personal visual language. We'll also discuss and explore current publishing demands and global markets.

The course will be structured as follows:

  • drawing, materials and mark making exercises
  • creating characters – an introduction to methods of creating a character (you'll research and create several animal characters in different shapes)
  • creating characters – explore facial expressions, simple methods of drawing children and character consistency
  • materials one – create characters using watercolour and coloured pencil and pen and ink
  • materials two – create characters using oil pastel and collage
  • narrative – break down a simple story into eight images then, using a story you want to work with for the rest of the course, you break the story down into a 32-page story board
  • layout and composition – select a page or double page spread from the story board and sketch out and plan a final illustration
  • working individually on your final illustrations
  • overview and discussion of contemporary children's book illustration market, with you continuing your illustrations
  • group critique of final illustrations and final questions of the course

By the end of the course, you'll be able to:

  • understand the relationship between illustration and text
  • explore and develop character, narrative and research strategies
  • generate ideas in response to a given brief
  • use a range of relevant media
  • understand some of the varying demands of publishers in relation to age range, gender and markets

This course is taught by Alice Stevenson.

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Who's this course for?

The course is suitable if you're a beginner to children’s book illustration, but you'll gain the most from this course if you have basic drawing skills.

Course structure

Module details to be agreed

What our students say

"Alice is a fantastic teacher, always giving positive feedback and guiding us along the way."

Course dates

Course dates To be confirmed 
Length One day a week for five session
Day and time

Saturday, 11.30am to 6.30pm 

Maximum class size 14
Contact hours 30


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit.
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

The course fee includes the cost of materials.

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.